Monthly Archives: January, 2009

VectorLover 2 – Initial Release

As previously mentioned, I’ve been working on updating and customizing the VectorLover WordPress theme to include some of WordPress 2.7’s new features and to integrate with certain WordPress plugins which I like. This evening I’m happy to announce the initial release of VectorLover 2.

Features

  • Threaded comments with quick reply links.
  • Integrated plugin support for: Now-Reading, FAlbum, Tweetbacks, wpLicense
  • Custom login page
  • Added a new default Gravatar image to list of options under Settings -> Discussion in WordPress’s admin backend.
  • hCard microformatting to both post & comment authors.
  • A stylesheet to remove unnecessary elements from printed pages.
  • Changed page titles to display as “PostTitle « BlogName” vs the previous “BlogName » PostTitle” for better SEO
  • Wrapped posts in a DIV with post_class() to add support for fancier styling on posts.

Special Thanks

This release would not have been possible without Erwin Aligam — who designed the initial theme, ThemeLab — who ported the design to WordPress, famfamfam — designed some wicked-nice icons or any of these sites: WPEngineer.com, TheEnglishGuy.co.uk, OttoDestruct.com and Sivel.net — all of whom provided valuable information while I was working on this release.

Download

You can download this release from my VectorLover 2 page.

XBMC + Hulu = GOLD!

I’ve been home sick today and when not sleeping I’ve been working to upgrade the version of XBMC I have installed on my softmodded XBox.  I had been running the last stable release, but running into the occasional problem.  First off I’ll note that Nautilus 2.22.5.1 under Ubuntu 8.04.1, does a crappy job of working as an FTP client.  That held me up for a while, but after switching over to using gFTP things went much smoother.

The side effect of Nautilus working so poorly was I had time to do a little googling.  I’ve heard good things about the Hulu website for watching TV shows I’ve missed.  Thing i I hate sitting at my computer for long periods of time when I’ve got a comfy couch1 and a much larger TV than computer monitor. So as I said, I started googling and looking for a XBMC/Hulu plugin and I did find one in the XBMC Forums.

Unfortunately the 0.2 release mentioned in the first post of that thread didn’t work so well for me and there were 38 pages in the thread.  I did some more searching and found an article over at LifeHacker.  The article seems to be talking about the same plugin but links to a newer release of it.  I kept looking to see if there were anything else out there and found what appears to be the main site for the plugin, xbmc-hulu.  That last site doesn’t provide a simple download, but you can use subversion to checkout the lastest copy of their plugin.

And that latest version is pure gold, which is to say I’ve not run into a single problem watching any videos via the plugin.  Now I can sit back on the couch and watch Colbert Report, The Daily Show and all sorts of other good stuff that I don’t get with my cable TV package.  If my sinuses clear up and this cold goes away, I could be really happy.

UPDATE: I appear to be getting quite a bit of traffic (for me anyway) on this post, so thanks for stopping by! Also I’ve finally read through the entire 40 pages (at the time of this writing) in the XBMC Forums thread about this plugin.  From reading that thread, there appears to be a lot of confusion on where/how to get the plugin to work.  So for the record, I’m running xbmc-hulu 1.0 (SVN copied checked out on 26 January 2009) on top of T3CH’s 2009-01-25 build of XBMC (rev17349) on an original XBox (softmodded using Mech Assault via ProductWiki’s instructions).

UPDATE: Per the XBMC-Hulu plugin release thread, there is no currently working version of the plugin.

1 Someday I will have a comfy chair!

The Plumbing Nightmare Continues

Finally heard back from the plumber’s part guy. They have to order direct from the manufacturer as none of their suppliers have the part. The bleepied-bleeping bleep manufacturer will not ship overnight. Expected transit time of the part?

2-3 weeks

Yes, that’s right. They said it will take weeks. I told him I’d have to get back to them about it, since we have no way of shutting off that tub except by killing water to the entire house.

A slight pause and then he asked if the water was running continuously then?

I wanted to beat my head on my desk but just said yes.

He asked if we have copper pipes. I said we did but to be perfectly honest, I’m not 100% sure of that.  I’ve seen some copper pipes, some PVC and some other kind when I’m down in our basement. He recommended we put in a shutoff valve so we wouldn’t run into this situation in the future.

Forehead: What’s the broad, flat surface rushing at me all of a sudden?

Desk: Don’t you worry about what I am just yet, we’re going to have plenty of time to get aquainted.

I know the guy was just trying to be helpful, but seriously we know we need a cutoff valve. We want a cutoff valve, but we don’t have the time/money to be remodeling our bathroom right now. I told him I’d have to talk it over with the wife and call them back.

And to be perfectly honest, at this point I’m more inclined to call a different plumber to see if they can come out and fix the problem now. I’m so sick of this plumb fun.

Do You Game?

I used to love FPS games; but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve lost most of my taste for them. Probably because my reaction time is down and I’ve had less spare cash for PC upgrades to be able to run modern FPS games.

I’m also a bit cheap so I don’t tend to go for the latest console systems. Though I did end up buying a Wii last year and have been enjoying it greatly. Specially the Lego games (Lego Star Wars, Lego Indian Jones, etc..).

I’ve also played Rock Band/Guitar Hero at friends’ places and enjoyed those as well but haven’t picked up it yet (cheap + pricey controllers = delay in buying).

In response to Do You Game? by Shawn Powers.

Do any of my readers game? If so what do you like to play?

Plumb Fun

Thanks to the loverly weather we’ve been having in Iowa, our house is having some plumbing issues. The subzero temperatures caused the supply line pipes to our downstairs tub to freeze, but fortunately not burst. Unfortunately, when they thawed a bit it freed up some of the years of lime/calcium/crud in the pipes. The build-up then broke a thingamadoodle inside the faucet causing the water to run without stopping.  Naturally this is in the tub which didn’t like to drain.

My wife found this out when she got home and started calling various plumbers. But none of them could get to the house right away and the tub was in danger of overflowing. Luckily one of the plumbers she talked to recommended a drain cleaning service which was able to get out to the house and within an hour got the tub draining better than I’ve ever seen it drain.  So one potential problem was solved but the running water was still going. For extra fun the drain guys convinced my wife that we had a busted pipe in the wall.

After they left, she was eventually able to get in touch with a plumber who could come out. But we had to agree to pay an after-hours fee of$175 to get him there and since we were concerned about the pipes, we agreed. When the plumber eventually got to the house, he confirmed what I thought when I got home (no busted pipes). He had to kill the water to the entire house to shutdown the water to the tub and then got to work.  He found the broken thingamadoodle, but didn’t have a replacement in his truck. He left to try getting one from a hardware store but that store did not have the part either.

He said the company he works for required him to charge us the $175 for coming out plus $119 for the work he already did plus $2.69 for an “environmental fee”. He then told us he would try tracking down the part and coming back the next day, on his own time so he wouldn’t have to charge us another $119 to complete the work.  Unfortunately he called us the next day to say nobody appears to have the part and we have to special order it.

*sigh* Ain’t home-ownership grand?

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